I know, I know: you’re on the way to ruining your diet with Halloween candy and here I am yakking about the holidays. But believe me, it is not too early to get your ducks—not to mention turkeys, briskets, steaks, slabs o’ bacon, relishes, cheeses, sauces, jellies, cakes, pies, ice creams, and flavored salts—in a row. Because the truth is that whatever the larger spiritual meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas, in fact, they’re all about the food.
No, really. The bonding that goes along with sharing a meal or giving food as a gift is at the heart of the holidays. In an ideal world, of course, you would prepare all the meals, do all the shopping, and mail all the presents yourself. But as you know, the Ideal World as We Know It came to an end circa 1957,